Research has shown that gardening addresses many symptoms of mental ill-health and the broader associated difficulties. Benefits come from physical activity, practical skills development, inter-relational and personal integration, and the innate effects of being in contact with nature.
Gardening promotes a faster recovery from mental fatigue , improves sleep , improves concentration and memory , decreases anger  and stress levels , increases the ability to cope with stress , increases positive mood , decreases the reliance on anti-depressants  and the severity of depression and anxiety , and refocuses away from pain .
Working as a gardening community extends the gardeners’ social network  which increases the capacity to recover from disease , improves a sense of personal control in social settings , increases motivation , de-stigmatises by providing a new aspect to self-identity , increases a sense of belonging  and correlates to an increased positive relationships with others .
Growing plants and produce provides enjoyment for the tangible benefits of gardening , creates a sense of accomplishment and improves self-esteem , increases self-confidence , improves personal productivity , widens learning of a range of transferable life skills and correspondingly increases gardeners’ employability .
Caring for plants encourages creativity and self-expression , taking responsibility for oneself , reinforces a sense of personal agency , and powerfully reverses the dependency role sustained during illness .
Gardening offers many metaphors that can assist processing painful thoughts with positive framing , bring about hope from nature’s life cycles  and a sense of transition and change , create coherence in personal life-stories  and promote goal-oriented behaviour where needed . Being in contact with nature grounds the gardener to be able to take manageable risks for change .